Author: Katie O'Connor

Planet in Focus 2016 Review: 10 Billion: What’s on Your Plate?

10 Billion: What’s on Your Plate is an eye opening documentary that addresses how the current methods of agricultural production are just not enough. It is not enough to sustain the global population, which by 2050 will rise to 10 billion. What are the alternatives? Artificially produced meat? Eating insects as a source of protein? What if there is not enough food to go around to feed everyone on a daily basis. This does not just mean that everyone gets to eat but that everyone eats a well adjusted and sustainable diet. Director and self-proclaimed “food fighter” Valentin Thurn searches...

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Review: Art Bastard

Art Bastard is a documentary which centres around the art world’s “best kept secret,” Robert Cenedella. The film begins by following Cenedella around a New York subway station where we come to understand the twist and turns of the station as art. We later learn much of his inspiration for his work comes from the city landscape of his much loved New York. New York City appeared as a safe haven for him during his days as an emerging artist. The energy, the people, the different neighbourhoods and even food had its own unique culture that he was most drawn...

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Review: Gun Runners

Gun Runners is an inspiring and incredible story which follows two notorious warriors and former cattle rustlers in Northern Kenya who give up their weapons to run in marathons. As part of a government sponsored program to disarm in conflict heavy regions, these once notorious warriors are given a chance to pursue their dreams of becoming professional marathon runners. The film follows Matanda and Arile, who are looking to put their violent pasts behind them and pursue a positive path that will benefit the future of their family, livelihood and this conflict ridden region of Kenya. The audience is...

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TIFF 2016 Review: Mali Blues

Mali Blues centres around Mali-born world musician, Fatoumata Diawara through her dark past which has influenced her irreplaceable passion for music. The documentary follows her through writing and rehearsing for her first ever concert in her home country Mali for the Festival of Niger 2015. German Director Lutz Gregor captures a stunning music culture in Mali where the blues thrives. The country’s hardships are the experiences of these musicians. As creators of artistic expression, they have been violently threatened and ordered to leave the country due to their songs of protest and activism against radical Islamics. Fataoumata and her fellow...

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TIFF 2016 Review: Short Cuts Programme 9

This year’s Short Cuts Programme 9 may be one of the most pressing, riskiest and surreal programmes at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. We see the struggle of young motherhood, delusional ideas of what life is meant to be, falling in lust with a snake, a reserve at odds with the mining industry, an unimpressed daughter, and two lovers leaving their old lives behind and transiting to their next life stage on their own. What we can see these shorts have in common is the struggle to find solace, normality and maybe even sanity in everyday life. This selection...

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TIFF 2016 Review: Mostly Sunny

Karenjit Kaur Vohr, a.k.a. Sunny Leone, is a famous Bollywood actress with an enormous fan following. One of the reasons for her immense success as an entertainer is her being a former porn star. As a prominent Bollywood actress, Karenjit has built an unconventional yet notable career. As a former adult film star, her transition into the Bollywood film industry came unblemished. she certainly does have a reputation the brand of Sunny Leone but she proves she has been about to evolve and push her career in a way that would gain her more exposure in the world’s largest...

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Review: Up For Love

Up For Love begins with Diane (Virginie Efira), a young successful lawyer getting home from work and receiving a phone call. The call is from a man who has found her cell phone. The male caller teases her about knowing that her former lover has been calling her for the last few hours. Diane tries to dismiss this and continues speaking to this mystery man. She is taken by this charming male caller and upon his offer for them to meet, she readily accepts. As a newly single woman, Diane puts on her nicest dress and struts her way to...

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